Settlement Reached Over MV Rena Grounding

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 28
October 1, 2012

A closeup of the MV Rena mid-afternoon on October 5, the day the vessel grounded. The vessel’s condition quickly deteriorated on the reef and eventually broke into two pieces in January. The incident has been dubbed “New Zealand’s worst environmental maritime disaster”. Photo: Bay of Plenty Regional Council via MNZ.

The New Zealand government and Daina Shipping Co, owner of the stricken MV Rena, have reached a settlement over the Oct. 5, 2011 grounding of the container ship on Astrolabe Reef, Maritime New Zealand said in a statement Tuesday.

Keith Manch, Director of Maritime New Zealand, confirmed that Daina Shipping Company will pay 27.6 million New Zealand dollars, or about US$22 million, to settle a series of claims involving the government and several public bodies including Maritime NZ, Bay of Plenty District Health Board, Environmental Protection Agency, the Minister of Local Government (signing as the territorial authority for Motiti island), and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

“This was a very complex negotiation given the range of issues and parties involved, and represents a good outcome for New Zealanders,” said Manch of the settlement.  “As with any settlement it is about finding a solution that both sides can live with, and I would like to acknowledge the constructive approach taken by Daina Shipping Company and their continuing commitment to meet their obligations under New Zealand law.”

The settlement also recognizes that Daina Shipping Company and The Swedish Club, the Rena’s insurers, are investigating the environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts of different options for dealing with the wreck, the statement said.

If they opt to apply for, are granted and use a resource consent to leave part of the wreck in place, Daina Shipping Company will make an additional payment of NZ$10.4 million to the government, reflecting their reduced salvage costs.

“We have always sought to work closely with the New Zealand authorities to address all aspects of this serious incident,” said Konstantinos Zacharatos on behalf of Daina Shipping Company. “This settlement is a vital step forward in our progressive resolution of all the issues, and I want to thank the New Zealand authorities for all of their work that has gone into achieving this outcome.”

Daina Shipping Co. is a subsidiary of Greek shipping company Costamare, Inc.

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